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Transformed Mt Faber eyes MICE business

It hopes to double capacity before Sentosa facilities come onstream

AFTER a major revamp in 2004 that saw Mount Faber transforming from a cable car station to Singapore’s second most visited paid tourist attraction, Mount Faber is now eyeing the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) business.

Before the MICE facilities in the integrated resort at Sentosa are up and running, Mount Faber hopes to double its own MICE capacity. Its facilities can currently hold 1,200 persons at any one time.

‘We have been working with the relevant authorities for land space,’ Mount Faber Leisure Group CEO Susan Teh told BT. ‘We are still in talks to see how we can expand.’

The existing MICE facilities are already fully utilised during peak season and 80 per cent booked during off-peak period, she said.

From a low base, revenue from the MICE segment has grown by a staggering 290 per cent since Ms Teh took office in 2004, and has become a significant growth driver for the group.

Ms Teh now hopes to position Mount Faber as a ‘total solutions’ for MICE events, given the unique offering of conference venue amid the lush flora and fauna, attractions, food and beverage (F&B), business centre service and coach transport that enables visitors to arrive in style.

Some major institutions and corporations that have already tapped Mount Faber’s MICE facilities include the International Monetary Fund, Citibank Singapore, UBS and Singapore Telecommunications.

Confident that Mount Faber offers a unique hilltop experience not seen in other parts of Singapore, Ms Teh reckoned that the MICE facilities at Resorts World at Sentosa would be complementary rather than competitive.

‘As the government is targeting 17 million (visitors by 2015), there will definitely be spillovers and everyone can have a piece of the pie,’ Ms Teh said.

With companies increasingly looking for unique places to hold corporate functions, Mount Faber now has an event management team that helps to plan corporate events such as dinner and dance parties and product launches.

Since Mount Faber’s revamp in 2004 that saw the group embark on a strategy of diversification, significant improvements have been seen not just in its facade, but also translating to headline numbers.

Its profit has doubled from 2004 while its revenue has tripled over the same period. The revenue mix has shifted from predominantly cable car receipts to an even contribution from F&B, MICE, cable car rides, attractions and wholesaling.

Mount Faber now serves a broad target group by providing casual to formal dining, family attractions to venues for corporate events, and has seen a mingling of tourists and locals.

The revamped Mount Faber also saw an increase in visitor arrivals from 1.2 million in 2004 to 1.8 million year-todate.

‘We are targeting two million visitors, an all-time high, and we are on track by the end of this year,’ Ms Teh said.

The icon of the revamped Mount Faber – Jewel Box – which houses its MICE facilities and F&B outlets, sits on the hilltop which was previously only used for the cable car station.

Other selling points of Mount Faber stem from its ‘four seasons’ campaign, which changes the design and colours of the facade at Jewel Box every quarter, including touch points like menu and cocktails, offering a different experience each time.

‘You can’t find another attraction in a hill environment. The Jewel Box itself has already started to benefit from the brand and this is what we will leverage on going forward,’ she added.

Ahead of the opening of the Sentosa IR, other non-MICE facilities at Mount Faber will also get a facelift to cater to the sophisticated and discerning visitors that the IR is expected to attract.

This would include upgrading the F&B area which comprises Altivo, Glass Bar, Faber Rock and Faber Hill Bistro, and increasing retail outlets, Ms Teh said.

‘We are working with the relevant authorities to improve the accessibility here,’ she added.

Without letting on whether a tram line is in the pipeline, Ms Teh said that the authorities will look at improving accessibility in the southern precinct in general and can be expected to talk to various stakeholders to achieve this.


Source: Business Times 3 Dec 07


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